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What time do you let them in/out of henhouse?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hmillie, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. hmillie

    hmillie Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 1, 2016
    Morning everyone!
    My 7 week old chicks spent their first night in the new coop last night! I have a manual pop door and scooped them all up the chicken ramp last night at about 7:30 and closed the door behind them. What time do you guys let them in/out of the henhouse to the run?
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Overrun With Chickens

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    I leave the door to the run open and they put themselves out and in.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I consider my run predator-resistant not predator-proof so I lock them up at night.

    I feed and water in the coop as well as the run and my coop is pretty big so I don’t feel in any rush to get down there in the morning. Some mornings it’s nine o’clock. But I don’t think that’s what you are asking.

    I generally keep them in the grow-out coop about a week before I let them into the run. Sometimes I wonder why I bother. I have an elevated grow-out coop and they still practically always put themselves to bed under the pop door instead of in the coop. I have to physically move them into the coop every night until they catch on that they need to sleep in the coop. On rare occasions it only takes moving them once, but a week to convince the last one is more normal. I’ve had some stubborn ones take closer to three weeks. I’ll be moving some to that grow-out coop in a few days. I’ll probably not even bother locking them in there, just to see how it goes.
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Overrun With Chickens

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    Honestly, my run is not predator-proof, and some day that will probably come back to bite me. It's got 2x4" welded wire on all sides and the top, so something like a weasel could get in, maybe a mink. I'm not sure how much of a hole they can squeeze through. But in all the years I've done it this way, I have not had a problem. Yet. The only time anything did get in at night was early on when I actually had the whole thing closed up for the night.

    OP, forgive me for hijacking your thread, but I'd like to ask RR a question - I plan on starting integrating my current babies with the older ones at about 5-6 weeks. Do you think they would just follow the older ones into the coop at night? I've honestly only had to put my Freedom Rangers in at night. Otherwise, the younger chickens always seemed to figure it out on their own. I have never integrated this young before, though. They've always been kept separately from the older birds until they were a couple of months old.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Bobbi, predators are hard to predict. You can go forever without a problem then suddenly something happens. Just because something can get in doesn’t mean it will. I’d think snakes getting into your coop through that 2x4 wire and into the coop to eat eggs even during the day is a much bigger threat than a weasel though if a weasel gets in it will cause more damage.

    Where are you keeping the chicks during the day and how long have they been there? Is your coop elevated? I think they have been in that coop for a few weeks and that is a walk-in coop, much like mine. I don’t always use my elevated grow-out coop. Sometimes I just open the brooder door about the time they are five weeks old. It may take them a day or two to take themselves outside the coop but mine always come in that coop on their own at night. They will probably wait until the adults are on the roosts to come in, but they do come in. It’s never been a problem.

    I have a separate juvenile roost lower than the main roosts and separated horizontally. Once they start to roost they use that, they are not going to go close to the adults on the main roost even though there is plenty of room. Before I put that juvenile roost in I had some try sleeping outside to stay away from the older bullies.

    I’m convinced the reason I have problems in that grow-out coop is because it is elevated. I think they instinctively want to sleep in a group on the ground in some protected area until they start to roost. They have been too consistent over the years for me to believe anything else.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]

    Old picture of the coop the chicks are in currently. They are on the right side, old biddies are on the left side. There is a run built onto the left side, accessed by a pop door. Coop is about a foot off the ground to discourage things like rats, skunks and other critters from moving in under there. I don't want to give anything a place to hide. There is a space as wide as the doorway between the two pens, but by opening both doors of the pens, the chickens have access to both sides if necessary. My plan is to open the big girls' door when I let the babies out of the brooder so they can get used to one another through the chicken wire for a few weeks before attempting integration. At that time, I will have one or two panic doors for the babies to go in and out through, and their food and water on their side of the coop. Anything else I should be thinking about?

    Again, OP - sorry for hijacking your thread. Hopefully this is helpful to you, too. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016

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